Lately it's felt like Donald Glover is everywhere. He writes and stars in Emmy-winning television series, FX's "Atlanta"; he performed (and won) at the 2018 Grammy Awards as his hip-hop alter ego, Childish Gambino; and he hosted "Saturday Night Live" on NBC, acting in sketches and serving as the show's musical guest. Most recently, the video for his latest single, "This Is America," which serves up commentary on everything from gun violence to racial politics, has garnered 185 million YouTube views since it's May 5 debut.
Now, Glover, 34, is adding an iconic movie role to his ever-expanding resumè. In Walt Disney's "Solo: A Star Wars Story," Glover stars as a younger version of Lando Calrissian, the intergalactic smuggler and gambler character made famous by actor Billy Dee Williams in the original "Star Wars" trilogy. The movie, in theaters Friday, is expected to have a shot at setting a new box-office record for a Memorial Day weekend opening.
But when Glover got his start in show business over a dozen years ago, his abundance of talent was still just being discovered.
Glover, who graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 2006, formed a sketch comedy group with two fellow NYU students while they were still in college. Called Derrick Comedy, the group made short comedy videos that they posted on YouTube at a time when the now ubiquitous online video platform was still in its infancy (it launched in 2005).
Some of Derrick Comedy's sketch videos went viral, including a 2006 video that skewers college frat-boy culture (called called "Bro Rape"), which today has more than 11 million views (despite being age-restricted by YouTube for potentially offensive language and content).
Before he'd even graduated from college, Glover's online video sketches caught the eye of David Miner, an executive producer on the NBC sitcom "30 Rock," who set up a meeting between Glover and Tina Fey. In a 2010 interview with The New York Times, Fey remembered that Glover showed up to the meeting with just "a packet of sketch comedy pieces" including one about going on a date with someone who turns out to be one of the puppet characters from the now defunct HBO show "Fraggle Rock."
"That sketch made me laugh," Fey said.